Balance-Unbalance 2018

I’m pleased to be presenting at the Balance-Unbalance conference this week:

Balance-Unbalance (BunB) is an annual international conference focused on art and design as catalysts to explore intersections between nature, science, technology and society. Every year, the focus is on one or more major current challenges surrounding the ecological crisis and discipline-transcending cooperation.

BunB 2018 New Value Systems will be hosted September 20th and 21st 2018 by The Patching Zone, the City of Rotterdam and partners in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The Balance-Unbalance conference brings together artists, designers, scientists, economists, philosophers, politicians, policymakers, sociologists, entrepreneurs and technologists from the world, based on the conviction that greater ecological awareness can be created through joint efforts. The conference focuses on debate, new insights and finding innovative solutions for issues arising from the global climate crisis. The 2018 theme revolves around New Value Systems. We specifically think of sustainability and social impact as important value indicators. Of course, we will also reflect on the practical, economic and philosophical issues that such new value systems entail.

I’m presenting a full paper entitled: “It Looks Like You’re Writing A Letter: The new value systems embedded in digital inclusion programmes”. Here is the abstract:

The concept of digital inclusion as a toolbox of strategies to combat the digital divide is currently an idea with traction in Europe. For example, Portugal recently drew up an ambitious plan for digital inclusion due to complete by 2030. In a country noted to have good digital infrastructure, it is also true that 26% of Portuguese have never been online (a high figure compared to Finland at 4% and the entire EU at 12%).  This paper will examine elements of the digital inclusion agenda alongside specific concerns and examples drawn from fieldwork currently in progress. While the benefits of online participation and digital literacy are many, what are the embedded social values in the tools introducing new users to technology? The consequences of implementing this agenda in rural Portugal, driven by a desire to maintain pace with the rest of Europe, will be addressed through a discussion of relevant literature in STS and adjacent fields and fieldwork findings.

See you at BunB!